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Last Update: Friday July 10, 2020

Key Idea: Grow Your Market

Automation reduces the cost of making a product and when the cost drops the market gets bigger.

Key Question:


Position your product so new customers can experience it.  Their was a time when you could only buy a corn dog ready to eat from a corn dog stand.

Q:  What role does  Automated Food Systems play in the "portable" food business?

A:  It makes the machines used by some of the world's biggest food processors.  What was once only enjoyed by small numbers of people and made-to-order by hand can now be purchased in large quantities in the frozen food section of most grocery stores in the US.

Think about it

What kind of technology or automation can you embrace that would lower your price thus grow your market?

Clip from: Automated Food Systems

He invented a machine, then created, then captured his market.

Duncanville, Texas: This is the story of a nightmare that turns into  the American dream.  It's a classic story of a small business owner.  Glenn Walser was fired from his job. Not for goofing off,  he was fired for demanding too much.  He is a man of principle.

Getting fired on principle -- I had an argument with the boss -- has a long tradition in the USA. Many of us just have to work for ourselves. Small business owners often say, "I'm unemployable! "   It is not that it is has to be my way, but if it can be a better --  faster and/or cheaper with higher quality -- then, let's do it!  Many of us started our business to vindicate that belief; we needed to prove to ourselves that we were right. 

So, meet Glenn Walser.  He had an idea for a machine to automate labor-intense processes, but most people just  laughed at him.  

In 1976 Glenn started this business on a dream and a prayer, created a new industry, and then became the world's leader within it.  With one investor who believed he could do it, he went about developing the first automated corndog system. Now, the Walsers have moved out of the passing lane to enjoy a little more of life as it is given while their nephew runs the company day-to-day.

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Automated Foods, Incorporated

Glenn Walser, founder

1000 E. Lofland Drive
Waxahachie, TX 75165

Visit our web site:


Business Classification:
Food processing, Manufacturing

Year Founded: 1976

Grow Your Market

HATTIE: Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant.  Since 1994 we've been encouraging you to go global because so many already see the entire world as one marketplace.  The SBA says that over 90% of all US exporters are small business owners.  Now meet the team at Automated food systems.  A small business with a global market share.

As American as apple pie, the corn dog has won hearts all over the world because of this machine.

(Voiceover) Since its introduction at the state fair of Texas in Dallas in 1938, the corn dog has become a favorite American fast food.

Unidentified Woman #1: That's a great corn dog.

WANDA WALSER (Owner, Automated Food Systems): They saw this guy making corn bread in an iron skillet on a little street stove, you know? And he was mixing in to the corn bread, he would put these sausages in there, the weiners. And so they thought, you know, if they're on a stick, then we can just fry them real quick in no more than two to three minutes and we can serve them right like that and that'll be a lot faster.

HATTIE: So you're saying in 1938, the very first corn dog was served at the Texas State Fair.

WANDA: That is the legend in Texas.

GLENN WALSER (Owner, Automated Food Systems): This is the way a good corn dog starts. You start with a high-quality sausage impaled upon a stick. Then you batter it and you evenly coat it. Notice the vibrations makes that corn dog batter just come right down and evenly coat. And then you--gravity works that batter right in there so you get a nice, even coating.

HATTIE: So now this is my first fresh corn dog.

GLENN: There is your first real good one.

GLENN: Well, we're looking at a corn dog fryer. And this is the beginning of the process.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Automated Food Systems has fully mechanized corn dog production, and since its first machine was built, the corn dog market has grown 25 percent annually.

GLENN: It picks up 26 sticks and 26 sausages and indexes them across in approximately two seconds. And then the sticker apparatus pushes that stick through the stick holder bar, into the sausage that's clamped on the other side.

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